UN Globe message for IDAHOT 2015
On the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (17 May),
UN-GLOBE – the staff group representing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex staff members of the UN system – calls on all UN staff members to reflect on what each one of us can do to confront discrimination towards LGBTI staff and peoples around the world.
We encourage all UN staff members, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, to reflect on the following three scenarios:
1. During a meeting of staff, chaired by the senior manager, the manager makes a homophobic joke that reveals hostility towards gay female individuals. People in the room laugh, some uncomfortably. The meeting ends without further comments on this joke.
2. In the duty station where you serve, you notice with alarm the increasing levels of homophobia and transphobia in the country. You notice this in the media, in declarations made by the country’s leaders, in the neighborhood in where you live. One night, you observe security forces raiding a neighbor’s apartment. Men had gathered to celebrate a birthday, raising suspicions that the celebrations were sexual in nature. All men at the apartment are arrested.
3. You are a manager. One of the local staff members whom you supervise, a transgender staff member, writes to you to inform you that over the weekend, she was detained by the police and jailed. She will be prosecuted in the months ahead for cross-dressing, and faces ten years in jail. She does not know what to do, and asks you what she should do.
For each of these scenarios, ask yourself and discuss with your colleagues: What would you do? Who would you turn to? Do you feel sufficiently empowered to take action?
These scenarios are real, and our colleagues have been forced to ask themselves the same questions.
On IDAHOT Day 2015, commit yourself to be an agent of change.
Make sure you and those around you have zero tolerance for any form of homophobia or transphobia.
Speak out and report any instance of homophobia or transphobia in the workplace.
And join UN-GLOBE, whether you are a LGBTI staff or an ally, and add your voice to our demands for full equality and inclusiveness for all staff in the UN system.
Find out more about UN-GLOBE at www.unglobe.org